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F1 Chief Bernie Ecclestone: Turkey can return to F1 calendar / Formula 1 News

F1 Bernie Ecclestone backs Turkish Istanbul Grand Prix – only snag is the fee, not to mention massive competition for a slot in the schedule…

Formula 1 Turkey News / NationalTurk – F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone has stated Turkey could yet regain its place on the F1 calendar.

Turkey hosted it first F1 race back in 2005, and while it was popular amongst Formula 1 drivers and teams, the seven editions of the race were cancelled by high ticket prices leading to poor crowd numbers.

It was dropped this year after Ecclestone and Turkey failed to reach an agreement on the fee, but Mr E has now said both the teams and the FIA were ‘happy’ to go there and would be happy to return at some point in the future.

“If we can solve this problem [in terms of the fee], Turkey can return to the F1 calendar,” Ecclestone told Turkey’s Haber Turk newspaper this week.

Where Turkey would fit in is debatable, however, especially as the current Formula 1 schedule already includes a bulging 20 races, with a second race in America and a race in Russia due to join the fold in 2013 and 2014 respectively, potentially taking the total upwards to 22 annually.

There is also competition from a number of other countries, such as France and Mexico, not to mention proposals for a London Grand Prix, and even a race Greece, with a project in the port of Piraeus near Athens mooted this month, despite that countries serious economic problems.

“We have to support all projects that market Greece,” Konstantinos Cavaras, Greece’s sports minister told Autoweek. “The possibility of having Drapetsona host a F1 race would be very important for the development of Piraeus.”

Costas Tzavaras, Greece’s Minister for Culture, added: “The main priority of this government is to create instruments of development. In this critical time for our country, every effort that promotes Greece and attracts international interest is welcome and deserves our support.

“The prospect of holding F1 races in Drapetsona raises expectations for upgrading our tourism product through the promotion of the historic port of Piraeus and the reformation of the broader region.

“Such a project would create new jobs and place our country anew on the international stage.”

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